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2012-13 Fantasy Basketball Rankings

Updated on October 1, 2012
Fantasy Basketball season is still a long way away but that doesn't mean we can't already discuss rankings and the impact of so much movement in such an interesting offseason.
Fantasy Basketball season is still a long way away but that doesn't mean we can't already discuss rankings and the impact of so much movement in such an interesting offseason. | Source

With just over three months before a long, full season kicks off, I'm already getting antsy. Many faces will be in different places this upcoming season. Steve Nash a Laker? Still a tough pill to swallow given I'm a Sun fan. I don't think I will ever get over it. Joe Johnson a Brooklyn Net? Didn't see that coming. Linsanity is taking over Houston. Nobody saw most of these offseason moves coming. It's been an intriguing offseason to say the least.

The Dwightmare is finally over. He just had to join the Lakers didn't he? Of all the teams he could have joined, it had to be the Lakers, huh? Getting Steve Nash was bad enough, but they had to get Dwight too. Apparently, the rest of the league just don't care if the Lakers continue to dominate the NBA I guess. Because there is absolutely no reason why the Lakers should have gotten Dwight by only giving up Bynum. No disrespect to Bynum, but he is just not in Dwight's area code. In fantasy basketball, that's a different story.

Dwight's fantasy value doesn't change all that much, but going to the Lakers was just something I didn't expect. I didn't think they had the assets to get him. I was certain the Nets would get him. Anywho, this hub isn't a rant hub. Let's talk about fantasy basketball. Allow me to show you some players you should target and some players you should stay away from. Let's see where these players rank. Bynum over Dwight? Who's #1? Durant or LeBron? Let's get to it.

The debate for #1 in fantasy really isn't up for debate anymore.  Durant has improved every aspect of his game, and looks to improve even more this season.
The debate for #1 in fantasy really isn't up for debate anymore. Durant has improved every aspect of his game, and looks to improve even more this season. | Source

The Great Debate: LeBron vs. Durant

Who to take at #1? You can't go wrong with either one, but I'm going with Durant for a number of reasons. He's improved his FG%, he's always been the superior FT shooter, he's a superior shot blocker, and while his assist:turnover ratio has been nothing special, Durant has shown signs of becoming a better playmaker. The single biggest reason why I always gave LeBron the advantage over Durant in the past, was assists. LeBron should still have the advantage in assists, but Durant will close the gap enough for me to take him #1 overall. It also doesn't hurt that he will give you more 3s, more blocked shots, as many steals, nearly as many boards, and will shoot around 50%. If I had my pick today, I'm taking Durant.

The Top-100 Players

  1. Kevin Durant
  2. LeBron James
  3. Chris Paul
  4. Kevin Love
  5. Russell Westbrook
  6. Deron Williams
  7. Andrew Bynum
  8. Pau Gasol
  9. Josh Smith
  10. Dwyane Wade
  11. Dwight Howard
  12. Al Jefferson
  13. DeMarcus Cousins
  14. Kobe Bryant
  15. Kyrie Irving
  16. Dirk Nowitzki
  17. LaMarcus Aldridge
  18. Paul Millsap
  19. Marc Gasol
  20. Ty Lawson
  21. James Harden
  22. Stephen Curry
  23. Carmelo Anthony
  24. Rudy Gay
  25. Brandon Jennings
  26. Al Horford
  27. John Wall
  28. Serge Ibaka
  29. Goran Dragić
  30. Monta Ellis
  31. Rajon Rondo
  32. Greg Monroe
  33. Blake Griffin
  34. Marcin Gortat
  35. David Lee
  36. Paul Pierce
  37. Andre Iguodala
  38. Kyle Lowry
  39. Danny Granger
  40. Arron Afflalo
  41. Kevin Garnett
  42. Steve Nash
  43. Mike Conley
  44. Marcus Thornton
  45. Tony Parker
  46. Eric Gordon
  47. Roy Hibbert
  48. Chris Bosh
  49. Paul George
  50. Anthony Davis
  51. Joe Johnson
  52. Gerald Wallace
  53. Joakim Noah
  54. Tyreke Evans
  55. Nicolas Batum
  56. Amar'e Stoudemire
  57. Manu Ginobili
  58. Danilo Gallinari
  59. Tyson Chandler
  60. Kris Humphries
  61. Andrea Bargnani
  62. Carlos Boozer
  63. Javale McGee
  64. Zach Randolph
  65. Ricky Rubio
  66. Kenneth Faried
  67. Nene
  68. Jrue Holiday
  69. Gordon Hayward
  70. Wesley Matthews
  71. Ersan Ilyasova
  72. Mo Williams
  73. Brook Lopez
  74. Jason Terry
  75. Jeremy Lin
  76. Kevin Martin
  77. Klay Thompson
  78. Nikola Pekovic
  79. Jeff Teague
  80. José Calderón
  81. Rodney Stuckey
  82. Ryan Anderson
  83. Evan Turner
  84. Derrick Rose
  85. Tim Duncan
  86. Derrick Favors
  87. Andrew Bogut
  88. Isaiah Thomas
  89. Anderson Varejao
  90. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  91. Raymond Felton
  92. Luis Scola
  93. Luol Deng
  94. DeMar DeRozan
  95. Chris Kaman
  96. Elton Brand
  97. Harrison Barnes
  98. Darren Collison
  99. David West
  100. George Hill

Players to target

DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Sacramento Kings

Think Kevin Love without the threes and FT shooting but with blocks and steals. He may not become the three-point weapon that KLove is, but he can improve on his FT shooting and FG%. Averaging just over 18 pts 11 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game is astounding. The fact that he did it in a mere 30.5 mins per game is even more astounding. He has the chance to leap into the elite ranks similar to the way Kevin Love did it. Let's highlight KLove's road to elite:

  • 2009 14.0 ppg 11.0 rpg 2.3 apg 0.7 spg 0.4 bpg 0.6 3PM 45% FG 81% FT 28.6 mpg
  • 2010 20.2 ppg 15.2 rpg 2.5 apg 0.6 spg 0.4 bpg 1.2 3PM 47% FG 85% FT 35.8 mpg
  • 2011 26.0 ppg 13.3 rpg 2.0 apg 0.9 spg 0.5 bpg 1.9 3PM 44% FG 82% FT 39.0 mpg

Notice a trend here? As his minutes increased, so did his production. All KLove needed was simply more mins to become the fantasy monster he has become. In many cases in this league, sometimes all a player needs is the minutes to become a fantasy monster. That is all Cousins needs. Let's look at Cousins' path so far:

  • 2010 14.1 ppg 8.6 rpg 2.5 apg 1.0 spg 0.8 bpg 43% FG 68% FT 28.5 mpg
  • 2011 18.1 ppg 11.0 rpg 1.6 apg 1.5 spg 1.2 bpg 44% FG 70% FT 30.5 mpg

Not much of a minutes increase, but a big leap forward in production. This is with only 30 mins a game. Some of the reason why Cousins' mins are not that high can be attributed to being in foul trouble quite often. He averages just over 4 fouls a game for his career. If he can cut down on fouling, get around 38 mins a game, and get his head straight, you are looking at the next big thing in fantasy. Similar to KLove, he could give you 20/10 games in his sleep. He won't give you the threes, but he will make up for it with blocks and steals. He won't really kill your FT% either. He has a nice FT stroke, so I can see him improving in that area. Cousins also happens to be a willing passer. The numbers didn't show it last season, but he definitely has the passing skills to help you in the area kind of like Pau Gasol does. I'm thinking Cousins' upside in fantasy is prime Chris Webber like. If Cousins can improve his game and stay out of foul trouble, expect a Kevin Love-esque emergence with 23 ppg 12 rpg 3.5 apg 1.5 spg 1.5 bpg with 46% FGs and 73% from the stripe. Enjoy a top-10 season.

Goran Dragić, PG, Phoenix Suns

Can the Dragić Redux in Phoenix be similar to the Steve Nash one? When Nash returned as a Sun the 2nd time around, the rest was history. He went on to become league MVP dos veces, and lead the most efficient offense of the last eight years all the while being a fantasy monster. Dragon is certainly on the right path after his renaissance in Houston last season. He might not win an MVP or lead the Suns far into the playoffs as many times as Nash did, but we don't care about that. We only care about how he does in fantasy. Believe it or not, Dragić was a top-10 fantasy player over the last two months of the season in Houston. He averaged 18.2 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 8.3 assists per game, 1.8 steals per game, and 1.8 three-pointers made per game while shooting 49% from the field and 84% from the stripe. Now he's back where he started in Phoenix with a guaranteed starting job and a coach who loves him. Alvin Gentry will hand over the reigns to Dragić and give him every opportunity to show his skills. 17.5 ppg 7.5 apg 3.5 rpg 1.5 3PM with 45% shooting and 80% from the line is that of a top-10 PG.

Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Golden St. Warriors

The reason you should target Curry is because most people will be scared to touch him. I'm guessing Curry will be available in the 4th and 5th rounds. We are talking about a player that constantly puts up elite numbers as long as he's healthy. Think of Curry as the Josh Hamilton of the NBA. Curry can give you top-3 numbers if he stays healthy. Especially with Monta Ellis no longer hogging his stats. Klay Thompson is more of a prototypical shooting guard. He won't dominate the ball like Monta used to and should help Curry's assist totals rise to a career-high. This is officially Curry's team now. He has always put up Chris Paul lite stats, but he now actually has the potential to challenge Chris Paul for the top PG spot. But that is assuming his balky ankle can hold up. He's definitely a high-risk/high-reward player. He's a risk you should be willing to take. You might end up grabbing yourself the top player on the player rater in the 4th or 5th round.

Paul Pierce, SF/SG, Boston Celtics

It's simple. For the past couple of years, I've heard that he will decline, and then he goes out there and puts up near-elite numbers. Expect him to do it again. As long as he has Rondo, he will continue to get the looks. There is nobody Rondo trusts more than Pierce and KG. Even with the additions of Courtney Lee and, Jason Terry, who will command more shots and isos than Ray Allen did, look for Pierce to still get his with the occasional 30/5/5 outbursts.

Steve Nash in a Laker uniform doesn't spell good news for fantasy owners.  Not enough shots to go around.
Steve Nash in a Laker uniform doesn't spell good news for fantasy owners. Not enough shots to go around. | Source
Eric Gordon wanted to go to Phoenix, but NO wouldn't allow it.  Might be a reason enough to stay away from him.  He doesn't want to play in NO, period.
Eric Gordon wanted to go to Phoenix, but NO wouldn't allow it. Might be a reason enough to stay away from him. He doesn't want to play in NO, period. | Source
Ray Allen should still be a great source of 3s for his owners, but there will be too much inconsistency.  Stay far away.
Ray Allen should still be a great source of 3s for his owners, but there will be too much inconsistency. Stay far away. | Source

Players to stay away from

Steve Nash, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

Aside from the fact that it absolute kills me just to type his name, I definitely won't be going anywhere near him in fantasy. And you shouldn't either. Not just because he's 38. Not because he has a chronic back problem and was aided by the brilliant medical staff in Phoenix, who kept him upright for eight seasons. Not because I'm a bitter Sun fan with an axe to grind. Maybe it's because for the past three seasons, his statistics have taken a noteworthy dip after the All-Star break. Showing signs of a slow decline and wear and tear. Now he goes into a situation where he's playing on a loaded team that just so happens to have Kobe Bean Bryant on it. There are way too many mouths to feed in LA, and with the possibility of acquiring Dwight, it could get worse. I would be absolutely shocked if Nash averaged 10 or more ppg this season. His assists should still be great enough for him to be owned in all leagues. His percentages will be strong, but does it really matter if he's only taking like eight shots a game or two free-throws a game? We are talking about a guy that could average less than double figures in points, get you no steals, and barely help in 3s. Sounds like José Calderón doesn't it? And you would have to spend one of your early picks just to get Nash. Pass.

Eric Gordon, SG, New Orleans Hornets

He gave New Orleans every indication that he wanted no part of them. New Orleans is a place that Gordon could really shine, but it's hard to trust him given he doesn't want to play there. Also, he just happens to be extremely injury-prone. Let Gordon be a problem for someone else. If he's in Round 7, I'd take him, but not before that.

Luol Deng, SF, Chicago Bulls

Without Derrick Rose for a lengthy period of time, it looks like Deng can be primed for a big year. Why I'm staying away from him? Because of reports that he won't have the wrist surgery that he desperately needs. We saw just how bad Deng was with that nagging injury last year. So basically, he's gonna play in the Olympics, and then start training camp on time without having the surgery? Look for another year of nagging injuries. Look for mediocre shooting and inconsistency out of your SF. Also, don't be surprised if the problem becomes too persistent to the point where he has to have the surgery and sit on your IR for months. Personally, I rather take a chance on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Ray Allen, SG, Miami Heat

I guess we might as well just come out and say it. Age caught up to Ray Ray last season. Plain and simple. After shocking everyone by bolting Boston for South Beach, Ray Allen will look to pick up the pieces of his declining career. Stay far away. If you want a three-point specialist, just take Richard Jefferson late instead of spending a valuable pick on Allen. He's coming off the bench and won't be much of a factor outside of three-point shooting.

Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans Hornets

Ryan responded in a big way last year with a phenomenal breakout season, but the trade to New Orleans dampened any chance of a repeat. I absolutely hope Ryan Anderson proves me wrong, because I really like him as a player, but I don't like his situation in New Orleans. I can't justify spending a pick on him before Round 6. There are few teams that he's a good fit for, and Orlando was one of them. He's not gonna get the same looks without Dwight drawing attention. Unless Anthony Davis can become all that and a bag of chips, don't look for Ry to repeat last season.


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    • Oilersmyth profile image

      Oilersmyth 5 years ago from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

      I love your hubs! Keep it up!

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
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      Ray Williams 5 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Wow, what an amazing dunk.

    • jeolmoz2 profile image

      Julio E Olmo Sr 5 years ago from Florida, USA

    • jeolmoz2 profile image

      Julio E Olmo Sr 5 years ago from Florida, USA

      You're a basketball junkie my friend hahaha like

    • GiancarloLorenzo profile image
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      Ray Williams 5 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thanks

    • MrAhmad profile image

      MrAhmad 5 years ago from Edmonton, Canada

      nice hub!